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TAR UC Uncovers Young Writing Talents

August 7, 2019 | Campus News

The winning smiles… From left, Dr Karthiyani Shanmugam (Dean of the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities), Khalishah Iman, Zoey Wong, Yun Ting, Yi Ren, Prof. Ir Dr Lee, Joyjane Ling and Olive Aarya.

“All our hard work, nine years of it, was gone in the span of one night... As I watched, in shock and awe, someone ruffled my head. I looked up and saw my dad looking at me with a smile, shrugging his shoulders before joining others in the orchard. I touched my head for a moment, sighed before resigning myself and went to work as well, for the future, for the next ‘Ten-Year Orchard’, for a new beginning.”

That was the ending of the story, A New Beginning, written by Wong Yi Ren from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Aminuddin Baki, the winner of the Short Story Writing Competition, organised by the Department of English Studies under the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities in Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (‘TAR UC’).

Vasan plucking his guitar and tugging the heartstrings of the audience with his songs.

This is the first-ever Short Story Writing Competition organised by the newly-formed department to unearth talented writers among young Malaysian students from the age of 16 to 20, to provide opportunities for them to hone their writing skills, and to encourage budding writers to come forward and explore their creativity. The objectives of this competition are in line with the two bachelor’s degree courses offered in the department, which are the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) English with Drama, as well as Bachelor of Arts (Honours) English with Education, that are designed to cater for students with a passion in the English language be it in drama or education.

Students from all secondary schools in the Klang Valley were invited to participate in the competition, and under the critical judgement of renowned writer and independent filmmaker, Mr Amir Muhammad, who acted as the chief judge, six short stories were identified as the most outstanding pieces, among close to 100 entries received.

In his speech during the prize giving ceremony held on 2 August 2019, Prof. Ir Dr Lee Sze Wei, President of TAR UC, praised the winners for achieving an admirable feat, having displayed this talent in writing compelling stories eloquently in the English language at such a young age, and encouraged them to continue writing creative stories that can touch the hearts of their readers.

“Writing is a form of art which is not easy to master. It takes courage and creative minds to pen down their ideas and words which would leave an impact to those who read them. I am truly impressed to have our winners here whose writings have won over the hearts and minds of our judges.

“I would also like to encourage the students to continue writing to improve this important skill as well as inculcating the habit of reading as it not only helps in the writing process but reading is a good source of enriching one’s knowledge and thinking process”, Prof. Ir Dr Lee said.

Keona, with her passionate poetry recital.

Among the performances during the prize giving ceremony included a heartfelt recital of a self-composed poetry entitled Trees, by Keona Durga Jainudin, first year student of the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) English with Education, followed by a rendition of two self-composed songs by a third year student, Vasan Wei-Sheng a/l M. Saravanan, who is currently pursuing the Bachelor of Science, Microelectronics with Embedded Technology.

Subsequently the announcement of winners commenced with much cheer and applause from the guests. The consolation winners were Olive Aarya Anoop from Rafflesia International School, Khalishah Iman binti Kamarudin from SMK Cyberjaya, and Zoey Wong from Sri Kuala Lumpur Secondary School, all of whom walked away with book vouchers worth RM200.

Meanwhile, the second runner up, Joyjane Ling Ai Leen, also from Rafflesia International School, won RM500 in cash, while the first runner up, Lai Yun Ting, from Kuen Cheng High School was presented RM700 in cash. The winner of the competition, Wong Yi Ren from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Aminuddin Baki, walked away with a cash prize of RM1000.

It is hoped that this competition will serve to inculcate not only good writing skills, but also good reading habits that will help hone the skills of these young writers.

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